On Sunday 4 September I will be armed with both a card and a small gift to celebrate the fact that I have a long-suffering but wonderful father.
When considerably younger I possibly needed a 'mental jog' about the impending event from my 'constantly on my case' mum, but in more recent times (a few exceptions aside when I was in different hemispheres and the dates were different), I have managed a card at the very least.
My last-ditch attempts during my self-obsessed teenage years must have been very taxing, but it sharpened up Dad's 'acting skills' as he managed to look delighted when yet another 'Brut soap on a rope' appeared. I hit the jackpot one year when I recycled a mother's day present (who I found out was not a fan of 'crooners'), and Dad became the proud owner of Francis Albert Sinatra's 'Greatest Hits'. That was indeed 'a very good year'.
Fascinated since childhood by all things nautical - past, present and future - he has, since retirement, done a lot of reading courtesy of Christchurch City Libraries, ploughing through C S Forester's 'Hornblower' novels; Patrick O'Brien's Captain Jack Aubrey works and recently Dewey Lambdin's main character Alan Lewrie.
If transported through the medium of print or film back to the Golden Age of Sailing albeit in the form of Egyptian wooden sailing Feluccas, Spanish Armadas, Tea Clippers, early Ocean Liners and Thor Heyerdahl's balsa wood 'Kon-Tiki' expedition you witness a totally captivated audience of one!
Many a Sunday night we sat down to watch The Onedin Line, the Pater to appreciate wooden vessels whilst I watched a 'period drama' unfold and desperately hoped the seas wouldn't be too choppy, NEVER having been a good sailor!!
The Christchurch City Libraries holds a wealth of information that keep fathers occupied and out of trouble - what can all its resources offer your Dad? Investigate all the possibilities - books, ebooks, audiobooks, films and report back (especially if I've missed a little 'gem' in the nautical line).
Oh, and the gift definitely isn't soap-on-a-rope this time Dad!!